TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Trotwood’s five-year income tax levy for road improvements was narrowly rejected on election night. Thursday, Mayor Mary McDonald said they have a new game plan to hopefully have it pass in November.
McDonald believes the proposed levy to increase the city’s income tax failed due to voters mistaking it for a property tax increase. The vote was 51.8% against the levy and 48.2% for.
“I think there was a lack of understanding, everyone is concerned about property taxes and what I think people didn’t understand is this was an income tax,” said Mayor McDonald. “It’s a tax on people who work within the City of Trotwood, not who live within the city.”
The current income tax rate is 2.25% – that generates about $4.7 million annually. If the levy was approved, the income tax would increase to 2.75% and would have generated an extra $1 million per year to fund road improvement projects. The city said they planned to pave over five miles of roadways each year if the levy passed.
“We’ve been doing pretty good with the dollars we have, we know we can do better with citizen’s support in terms of getting into residential areas, very often we have gotten grants for certain routes,” said Mayor McDonald.
Mayor McDonald knows residents are already stretched thin, so the proposed levy for November will only apply to those who work within city limits.
“Our job is letting them know this is an income tax, not a property tax. This will not affect the citizens who are challenged the most,” said Mayor McDonald. “And, this proposal is only for five years, it’s not forever. So the voters are given a chance to come back and turn it down if we do not meet their needs with it.”
Whether it’s in-person meetings, virtual meetings or small community events, Mayor McDonald said they are in the planning process of how to get more information out before November.